Ladies and gentlemen, Its majesty: the Pastiera.

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I have always been a very unconventional person. To me, personally, traditions have always meant doing something just because someone else was used to do it, long before me; repeating gestures and actions that other people have set and established for me. I never managed to follow traditions with heart and soul, if I did it was only because I felt I had to, and exactly for that reason I didn’t like it. But, at the same time I am perfectly aware that traditions embody past, history and culture. I have always felt fascinated by other people traditions, and admired those people who embraced them and keep them alive.
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Finnish Apple Pie: the happiness of baking with the little ones

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Before my daughter was born, baking had always been something only mine, a relax exercise, proper quality time to spend with myself. Then she exploded in our life and the first few months even boiling an egg seemed a challenge. I slowly (very slowly, my husband would say) got back to pots, pans, whiskers, rolling pin and piping bag, but for long time it was always a race against the clock, always something else more urgent (usually involving the little person of the family) to do, and as much as I enjoyed, it was nothing like before.
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Lemon Crème Brulee – Or of a 9-month sugar strike

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And so, a week ago, I completed my sugar strike. Giving up sweets, especially for someone who writes a baking blog, might seem a strange move, but I have never been happier of my choice. Well, yes, the fact that now it’s done probably helps! I did it because I needed to change something in my eating habits, regain control of them; so, to me, more than deprivation, it was a discipline exercise, a challenge between my love for sweets and my will power, something I wanted to prove to myself.

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Chocolate and walnut torte: only for those who are not afraid of the “dark”

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I started to like dark chocolate quite late in life; as a child, I remember the disappointment of receiving dark chocolate eggs for Easter, the merriment of my relatives, and the wonder “who on earth would like to eat that”? I have always identified dark chocolate as the chocolate “for adults”, as something with an acquired taste, that does not go down well with children. That is, of course, until my child showed me how little kids too can go crazy for it.

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